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Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver 

Tow Your Way to the Future at Top Speed

Heavy and tractor-trailer drivers will operate vehicles with a gross vehicle weight capacity of over 32,000 pounds over intercity routes, state lines, and sometimes even across national borders. With a current need for transport of all kinds of goods, the top industries hiring transporters are petroleum, mining, and grocery services. Long-haul drivers dominate the profession, typically in teams of two for efficient travel times.  Drivers must often load and unload their cargo before and after driving. Owner operators, drivers who buy or lease trucks to work as independent transportation services, are especially responsible for all parts of loading, unloading, and transporting. Owner-operators perform driving as well as administrative duties in order to serve their clientele.

Some Important Factors to Consider:

  • Drivers are on the road for long periods of time away from home
  • Most of the job is done inside the cabin of the vehicle
  • Must (at times) be able to freely cross state and national borders

Estimates show an annual job opening of 5,714.


Growth 613 Retirement 1,847 Transfer 3,254

Demand will cause over 6,000 jobs to be created by 2028. 

15% Growth

  Entry $30,109 Median $44,524 Experienced $53,069

How do you become an Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver?

Along with a high school diploma or the equivalent, many companies will require employees to attend truck driving schools or programs at the local community college certified by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI), but the U.S. Department of Transportation is considering mandating this prerequisite. In addition, all truck drivers must have a commercial driver's license (CDL) with the various endorsements displaying which special types of vehicle they are licensed to transport. 

Once qualified and licensed, new drivers will receive on-the-job training for 1 to 3 months with an experienced mentor-driver in the passenger seat teaching them about the routes and specific type of truck they are responsible for.

Gulf Coast Region Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Driving  Programs

Community Colleges

Major Employers in the Region

Related Occupations: Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators, Construction Equipment Operators, Water Transportation Workers, Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators


If you have questions about our Industry/Occupation Profiles or are an organization in the Gulf Coast Region, please contact

*Includes the following counties: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Walker, Waller, and Wharton.

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